In Saarland, the state government now wants to introduce a new law ordinance that will make it easier to introduce special weapon-free zones in public spaces. The reason for this is supposedly the fight against "knife crime", but let's take a closer look at this question.

Saarland's Interior Minister Reinhold Jost (SPD) has announced that he will be taking various measures to combat so-called "knife crime". One of these measures is the aforementioned ordinance, which makes it easier to introduce weapon-free zones. In addition, gun laws with regard to knives are also to be tightened. This approach is justified by recent incidents in the near past such as a knife attack on a regional train shortly before Saarbrücken Central Station on Monday or the knife attack which killed a police officer in Mannheim arround two weeks ago.

Until now, the establishment of weapon-free zones in Saarland was only possible in special places with increased crime. For example, temporary weapon-free zones have been set up sometimes at Saarbrücken Central Station. In contrast, the new legal ordinance should now make it possible to set up these zones in all areas of public space throughout the state. In principle, all places that are freely accessible to the public and are not private property are considered public spaces.

In rhetoric, attempts are made to portray such measures as measures in the interests of the people, as it is pretended that action is being taken against reactionary lumpen-violence in the form of knife fights. In fact, the establishment of such zones is not in the interests of the people and the working class. If a place is declared a weapon free zone, this means an increase in police presence and, above all, more power they have. In plain language, this means that the cops are allowed to carry out arbitrary controlls there. outside of these zones it is not allowed in this way.

The security that this is intended to create applies primarily to those in power and not to the people. This becomes clear on closer inspection. The local government must also admit that the number of knife attacks in Saarland is not currently increasing. On the contrary, it is actually declining. According to police crime statistics, there were 306 cases of knife attacks in Saarland in 2020, compared to just 161 cases last year.

The scaremongering about the supposedly dangerous "knife crime" that is used to legitimize this initiative by the state government turns out to be a bluff on closer inspection. Politicians and the bourgeois press are working together to take individual explosive cases and make them the focus of public attention. This is intended to create a mood that it has become more dangerous and that you can no longer walk through the city center in the evening without fear of being stabbed. In reality, there is no reason for this, because the situation in Saarland has actually become safer. Nevertheless, this mood is being created with the aim of gaining legitimacy among the population for more police presence, more police powers, more surveillance, etc. Ultimately, these measures are being used to further suppress the working class and combat their resistance.


Picture: Controlls by the police at the central station of Saarbrücken

Source: Saarbrü